Starbucks may be fine with losing a few gun rights supporters if it means removing the battle from actual Starbucks cafes. (As of 2012, there were over 18,000 locations across the country.) In his letter, Schultz focused specifically on the disruption in stores: “Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.”
Schultz is talking about scenes like those in Newtown, CT, home to the school shooting last December that restarted the national debate about guns. In August, a group of gun owners planned an “Appreciation Day” at a Starbucks about one mile from Sandy Hook Elementary. It grew so controversial the store closed down early to get activists to leave. That was a situation local store employees (and customers) had to deal with.
Of course, it's possible that Schultz's statement might galvanize consumption from gun control advocates. (Kim Parker Russell of Moms Demand Action for Guns Sense in America told Patch she “had the hugest Venti double soy latte you can imagine” on Wednesday.)
But it's more likely he just wants his customers to be comfortable. Otherwise, what's the point in paying $5 for a drink?
Does the Starbucks announcement make you more or less likely to buy from them? Let us know in the comments or in a blog post.